Author Archives: Aimee

How to Teach Your Dog to Love His Crate in Easy to Follow Steps

Imagine your dog running amuck while you celebrate your anniversary or in the middle of an important phone call with your boss. That can seriously jeopardize your plans to surprise your loved ones or hand you your resignation papers the next day.

One way to avoid that is by keeping your four-legged friend inside a crate. Of course, he would have to love the environment inside to stay in. And YOU have to teach him to love his own crate in the room. Wondering how? Well, I am here to tell dog owners the steps in this article titled, “How to Teach Your Dog to Love His Crate.”

First Thing’s First – Choose the Right Size of Crate
Make sure the crate is comfy and big enough for your canine friend. The dog should be able to move around and stretch his legs inside. I’d advise you to arrange a comfortable bed inside. If you have a puppy, they chew the bed a lot. That is why you should arrange one that is chew proof. But don’t leave the fun out. You can always put some toys and rugs inside that your puppy can chew on. That way, he’s happy, and you are happy too.

Put the Crate Somewhere Close to You
Now when we say “Crate,” everyone pictures isolation and a room where your dog is all by himself inside the crate. Sure, once he begins to familiarize with the crate, you can put it anywhere. But for starters, keep the crate near you.

By near I mean where you watch TV or near the sofa set of yours. You can also put the crate near your bed just to reassure your dog that everything is fine. Don’t put him in isolation right away.

Put Some Treat Inside to Get Dog’s Attention
Just to get your dog’s attention to the crate, put some food inside and close the gate. Before long, he’ll notice the smell and then will try to move in. But don’t let him move in just yet. Close the door and make him wait. Sure, he’ll walk around anxiously but let him be that much excited first.
After about 10 minutes, open the cage and let him in. He’ll be enjoying his treat and stay inside the crate. You can certainly put some cheese on the crate’s walls. Toys stuffed with food will also do the job.

The Trick is to make the crate your pet’s second home. DON’T make it a place for confinement for him. He should find it comfortable (as I said earlier) and should think of this thing as his home inside a home.

Start Slowly and Increase the Time
Many of us make the mistake of closing the door of soft crates for dogs or wooden dog crates and then move away from the spot. Please, don’t do that right away! You should begin by closing the door for five to ten minutes.

Gradually increase the time to half an hour and then longer. Remember, the crate should be a resting place for the canine. Not a place of “Permanent Solitude.”

Also, your dog should rest in his place and not permanently stay inside. People should still take their dogs to exercise, playing, and spending quality time with themselves. This plays a vital role. The exercise makes your dog tired. And thus, he’ll be resting comfortably in the crate while you go about your business.

Few Tips that You Need to know

  • Firstly, a crate is not a prison. Don’t make it into one!
  • Each breed or age group of a dog has different resting timetables. Get to know them and close the crate’s door accordingly.
  • When you are making your pet used to his crate, make sure he earns the treat you give him by spending enough time inside.
  • Train your dog regularly. Make sure he gets the play time and exercises he needs.
  • Don’t keep your puppy inside for more than 60 minutes. In the case of adults, don’t keep them inside the crate for more than six hours at a time.
  • While inside the crate, your dog will whine and bark. Pay attention to them and respond accordingly. He shouldn’t feel that he’s left out.

Before I Leave You
Hey! I get it. No one likes putting their closest friend in a small confined space. I don’t like it either. But sometimes you must do it for the sake of the environment and place you are in. Also, when you are out for long period of time, you don’t want your pet to cause disturbances to your neighbors by barking and whining loudly. The best way to deal with it is by teaching your pet friend the ins and outs of a crate. I hope my article did help you in this regard.

Author Bio: John Howes is the founder of Petcareup. 29-year-old, entrepreneur, Pet lover and passionate blogger. He loves to write about pet and helps pet owners to choose the best products for their pet.

Posted in dogs, guest post | 1 Comment

Keep your pet safe during BBQ season

Pets can sure find themselves in a lot of trouble. Whether it’s eating a pair of socks, chewing up the furniture or leaving unwanted messes on the floor, pet parents definitely have their hands full.

Warm weather on its way and with that comes the season of grilling and chilling. From summer festivals to backyard bark-B-Qs, Petplan pet insurance wants to remind pet parents to try these simple precautions to keep pets safe and happy… and your wallet intact.

  • don’t lick the chef – BBQ table scraps aren’t good for pets. Cooked bones, corn cobs, grapes and onions pose hazards ranging from a queasy stomach to a medical emergency. Average cost to treat foreign body ingestions = $1,872.
  • too hot to handle – The mercury’s rising! Study the symptoms of hyperthermia (heat stroke) and always have cold water and shade available for hot dogs to cool down. Average cost to treat heat stroke = $2,615.
  • ooh, ahh, oh no! – Fireworks aren’t fun for dogs and cats, so leave anxious pets inside. Always clean up thoroughly after a DIY display — fireworks contain poisonous chemicals. Average cost to treat poison related ingestions = $830.
  • ditching the party – Lots of commotion can make pets nervous and eager to bolt. Keep furry friends on a leash, in the house or under careful supervision. Average cost to treat anxiety related issues = $392.

Keep your pet safe durin BBQ season.

Costs based off 2016 Petplan pet insurance claims data.

Posted in cats, dogs, pet care | 1 Comment

Hedgehog basics

Yuki the hedgehog

We introduced you to our hedgehog Yuki awhile back, and many of you have reached out with questions on if they make good pets, and if then need special care.

Hedgehogs do make great pets, but there are some things you need to know. They are nocturnal, and they do need patience as they get used to you and being handled. They can be grumpy sometimes, but that is just part of the charm. Here are some of the things they will need to be happy:

Heat and Light

Hedgehogs have special heating needs, they like things warm, and it’s important to keep a a hedgehog’s cage between 72 and 80 degrees F. It can be dangerous, and even fatal, for a hedgehog to get colder than 70 degrees. The drop in temperature can cause a hibernation attempt. Domestic hedgehogs can’t hibernate safely, so it’s very important to avoid these attempts.

The easiest way to keep your hedgehog happy is to use a space heater in the room. Be sure to keep a thermometer in the cage so you can be sure the temp is right.

Because they are nocturnal, hedgehogs do best with a consistent source of light for about 12-14 hours each day. It’s a good idea to have a light with a timer near the cage. Light is important to avoid triggering a hibernation attempt.


Solid-sided cages (like large plastic bins without lids) retain heat better and have smooth floors so feet and toes don’t get stuck, and are easy to keep clean. They are also relatively cheap compared to other options since you won’t have to make adjustments for safety.


Your hedgehog will need a solid plastic wheel to run in. They love to run, so this is not just a toy, this is essential to their health and happiness. Make sure that your wheel is solid plastic as well to avoid toes getting stuck and injured.

They also enjoy having a hideaway (a plastic igloo is a great choice), and will spend time sleeping in it during the day time. This helps them feel safe. Take both of these items into account when picking a bin so there is still room to roam.

Hedgehogs like to climb, but unsupervised climbing should be prevented to avoid injuries from falls. This is another reason why large plastic bins make great houses, the sides don’t allow for climbing. Large, clear Sterilite bins (105 quart) are our choice, just leave the lid off. Tanks and aquariums should be avoided.

Since hedgehogs are generally solitary, it’s best not to house two together.


The ideal hedgehog food is actually made for cats! Commercial hedgehog foods should be avoided since they lack the nutrition needed.

High quality dry cat food is the best choice. Hedgehogs can be picky eaters, so you might have to try a few before finding one your hedgie loves. Yuki likes Purina Cat Chow Naturals, and we were lucky because it was the first food we tried and she loved it.

Your hedgehog will also need fresh mealworms (buy them at the pet store) as a supplement to dry cat food. Feed a few each day, 3-5 depending on the size of the mealworm. Do not feed freeze dried insects to avoid digestion problems, some very serious that can lead to death. Also avoid insects from your garden or other natural areas as they might contain pesticides.


The two best choices for bedding are paper based bedding, or fabric liners made of fleece (easy to make yourself by cutting fleece to size). We like the paper based bedding best because it gives the hedgehog a chance to burrow and dig around. Bedding should be changed 1-2 times a week, and the wheel will need to be cleaned daily.

Wood shavings should NOT be used, because they can cause respiratory issues.


Your hedgehog will need a lot of handling to become more friendly. This is best done in the evening when they are starting to wake up. And of course, just like people, they each have their own personalities! You might get lucky like we did and have a hedgie that likes you right away, or you might get a grumpier hedgie that needs more time to warm up to you. It helps if you “scoop” them up under their tummies when lifting them. Continue to pick them up, even when they prickle and roll into a ball.

We have enjoyed visiting a hedgehog forum called Hedgehog Central for when we have questions, they are a great resource for all new owners.

Posted in hedgehogs, Uncategorized | 3 Comments